Atheist mega-churches where people can celebrate their lack of faith in God are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S.
Time reports that the atheist mega-church movement started in Jan. 2013 when two British comedians came up with the idea to unite those who do not believe in God in a religious setting. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans extended the movement to atheists in several parts of Great Britain, Melbourne, Australia, San Diego, Nashville and New York.
The New York Times described a Sunday atheist service in Los Angeles recently, saying that
attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of ‘Lean on Me,’ ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and other hits that took the place of gospel songs. Congregants dissolved into laughter at a get-to-know-you game that involved clapping and slapping the hands of the person next to them and applauded as members of the audience spoke about community service projects they had started in LA.
The movement is looking to break the stereotype that many have of atheists being immoral and unpatriotic. One of their mottos is “live better, help often, wonder more” and they are promoting a campaign that looks to raise $800,000 to fund gatherings.